Remarks by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Yu Myung-Hwan at a Memorandum of Understanding Signing [April 18, 2008]   [open pdf - 23KB]

From the remarks of Michael Chertoff: "…the Visa Waiver Program plays two roles for the United States: It's a way of making it easier to have travelers and tourists come into the United States, but it's also a mechanism through which we make sure we have security to assure ourselves that nobody dangerous is coming into the United States. And by signing this agreement, we've been able to move forward, both to facilitate travel and to enhance security. Now I should emphasize that the signing of the agreement does not mean that immediately Korea has been admitted to the Visa Waiver Program. I wouldn't buy my tickets yet on the assumption that you're not going to need a visa, but it is the foundation of our moving forward to implement the various arrangements that will be necessary so that hopefully by the end of this year we can begin to see visitors coming under this new Visa Waiver Program. We are going to proceed forward with this, sending a technical assessment team to the Republic of Korea in June of 2008, and hopefully in that where we can identity precisely how to implement the final stages of this process. One element that I should mention is the electronic system for travel authorization, which will be a key element of the way we deal with visitors from all of the Visa Waiver countries."

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U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security: http://www.dhs.gov/
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